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Creativity And Innovation In The Workplace Commerce Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 2570 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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So in this context, what is creativity and what is innovation? Often they are not distinguished. They are simply seen as part of the process by which knowledge is developed and transformed into business value. This is a perfectly acceptable definition, but again like the failure to differentiate between information and knowledge it is not very useful for the purpose of discussing the subject area.. . It is important to distinguish between creativity and innovation because the processes are different, the risks are different, the starting points are different, and the climates needed for achievement are different, and there are consequences of these differences. To support this argument, the author has divided this essay into three main parts. First of all creativity and innovation is defined according to different researchers. Then the some basic differences between them is discussed. At the end, the author has described process of creativity and innovation to support his arguments.

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Creative thinking, creativity and innovation are separate and distinct things. Creative thinking is a process that can be taught, creativity is a phenomenon about which can be taught, and innovation is more than creativity. Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas in any domain whereas the innovation is the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization.(stein 1974, woodman, sawyer and griffen 1993). West and Farr (1990) consider “creativity as the ideation component of innovation and innovation as encompassing both the proposal and applications

of the new ideas” (p. 10).

In this view, creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation; the first is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the second. Amabile and shermaine montefalco et al. (1996)

Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas in any domain whereas the innovation is the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization.(stein 1974, woodman, sawyer and griffen 1993). West and Farr (1990) consider “creativity as the ideation component of

innovation and innovation as encompassing both the proposal and applications

of the new ideas” (p. 10).

.Successful innovation does not only depends upon the idea coming from inside the organization but can also comes from outside the organization.

Many researchers have argue that the innovation is not a linear process (Drazin and Schoonhoven, 1996; van de ven, 1986; Scgroeder et al 1986; Van de ven at al 1999) it may be conceived of as cyclical with periods of innovation initiation, implementation, adaptation and stabilization. Creativity is likely to be most evident in first stage of innovation.

(iainchalmers , 2007)

from Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken:

Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. (page 396)

Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:

need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation

need to communicate ideas and values

need to solve problems (page 396)

Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one…What counts is whether the novelty he or she produces is accepted for inclusion in the domain.

Creativity is the ability to produce work that is both nove,(i.e, original, unexpected) abd appropriate(i.e, useful, adaptive concerning task constrains)(lubart, 1994: Ochse 1990; Sternberg 1988; Sternberg and lubart 1991, 1995, 1996)

Components of creativity:

Expertise encompasses everything that a person knows and can do in the broad domain of his or her work.

Creative thinking, as noted above, refers to how people approaches problems and solutions- their capacity to put existing ideas together in new combinations. The skill itself depends quite a bit on personality and as well as on how a person thinks and works.

Expertise and creative thinking are a individual’s raw materials- his or her natural resources, if you will. But a third factor- motivation- determines what peoples will actually do. If an individual have outstanding educational credentials and a great facility in generating new prospective to do a particular job, but if he lacks the motivation to do that job, he will not do that; his expertise and creative thinking will not give him any advantage. People will be more creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself- and not by external pressures.

There also exists the enormous graveyard of innovations that have never been adopted and

not necessarily because they are the results of repetitive, foolish, or simply “reproductive”

processes(Paolo Legrenzi, Creativity and Innovation, http://www.iuav.it/Ricerca1/Dipartimen/dADI/Working-Pa/wp_2007_02.pdf)

I believe that there is a difference between creativity and innovation

and agree with Robinson and Stern’s explanation:10

• Creativity – the results of creativity in companies are improvements or changes to what

is already done.

• Innovation – the results of innovation in companies are entirely new activities for the


The key words, improvements and new, help define the difference in these terms. However,

creative thinking is part of the innovation process. Another way of explaining this comes from the late management consultant, Richard Byrd, who defined innovation as “creativity times risktaking.”

Japan railway east is the largest rail carrier in the world. When they decided to construct a new bullet-train line through the mountains north of Tokyo, they never anticipated that this would open the doors of a new business horizon for them- the beverages.

JR east have to construct many tunnels, and water causes problem there. The JR plans to drain this water away. But the crew inside the tunnel found a new solution of this problem; they were using to drink that. One of the workers liked it taste so much that he give suggestion to the JR to bottle this water and sale as premium mineral water instead of draining that into runoffs. His idea was implemented and soon the water was marketed with the brand name of OSHIMIZU. Within a short period of time it become so popular that JR plants vending machines at most of its platforms and establish a subsidiary company who only deals with this water. This idea turns so profitable that in 1994, sales of Oshimizu beverages were $ 47 million and it’s also started to sell juices as well as iced and hot teas and coffees.( Corporate creativity: how innovation and improvement actually happen

 By Alan G. Robinson, Sam Stern)

Most researchers and managers recognize that creativity at the individual level represents only part of the challenge. Organizations must create environments that allow and encourage employees to engage in creativity. Most organizations have developed layers of rules, procedures and bureaucratic processes that stifle creativity (MacKenzie, 1998).To be creative, the management has to tolerate the mistakes and accept the degree of risk involved with this. It also requires the long term commitment of time and resources whereas; the risk of failure is also there to be considered (Yukl, 2006). Creativity is the long term investment of any organization, which can’t be start or stop any time. Firms commonly encourage employees to use their creativity and judgment through empowerment (Gandz and Bird, 1996). Hence, the management culture of an organization is the major factor which initiates the creativity in an organization.

On the other hand, much lower degree of risk is involved in the innovation. In innovation the success is ascertain, so the process can be terminated at any desired stage. Innovation does not require a long term commitment of time and resources. Innovation is more likely to occur in groups where there is support for innovation, and where innovation attempts are rewarded rather than punished (Amabile, 1983; Kanter, 1983)

In modern age, creativity is considered as a science which can be learnt. Several universities offer courses and degrees in the field of creativity and creative problem solving where as there are only a few offer coerces in the field of innovation. For organizations it is easy to train their employees more creative and effective in their work. On the other hand, innovation is much more informal field. No specific body of knowledge serve a basic of teaching and learning for innovation. Most of innovative techniques are derived from the basics of creativity.


Chances are that the very successful leaders of the future will be more likely to make

creativity and innovation a strategic priority in their organizations if they better

understand the reality of what they really are rather than an unsubstantiated myth. How

they are different. Why they are both needed, and how to make them both happen in the

right way at the right time in the business cycle.


(iainchalmers , 2007) Creativity vs Innovation – the ugly truth, http://blogs.holstgroup.co.uk/greenhat_thinking/2008/03/07/creativity-vs-innovation-the-ugly-truth/

The innovation process may be divided into three areas: the fuzzy front end (FFE), the new product development (NPD) process, and commercialization, as indicated in Figure 1-1.1 The first part-the FFE-is generally regarded as one of the greatest opportunities for improvement of the overall innovation process.2 Many companies have dramatically improved cycle time and efficiency by implementing a formal Stage-GateTM (Cooper 1993) or PACE_ (McGrath and Akiyama 1996) approach for managing projects in the NPD portion of the innovation process. Attention is increasingly being focused on the front-end activities that precede this formal and structured process in order to increase the value, amount, and success probability of high-profit concepts entering product development and commercialization.

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The comparison was complicated because there was a lack of common terms and definitions for key elements of the FFE. Without a common language and vocabulary, the ability to create new knowledge and make distinctions between different parts of the process may be impossible (Krough, Ichijo, and Nonaka 2000). Knowledge transfer is ineffective or unlikely if both parties mean different things, even when they are using the same terms. These insights led us to believe that we could improve understanding of the FFE by describing it using terms that mean the same thing to everyone.

The front end of innovation, or what us often called fuzzy front end , presents one of the greatest opportunities for improving the overall innovation process.

New concept development model:

The NCD model, shown in figure below, compromises of three key elements:

The inner area defines the five key elements compriseing the front end of innovation

The engine or Bull’s Eye portion which drives the five front-end ekements and is fuelled by the leadership and culture of the organisation.

The influencing factors, or environment on the periphery . consists of organizational capabilities, business strategy, the outside world(i.e., distribution channels, customers and competitors), and the enabling science that will be utalized.



This is where the organization, by design or default, identifies the opportunities that the companu might want to pursue. Business and technological opportunities are explicitly considered so that resources will eventuallu be allocated to new areas of market growth and/pr operating effectiveness and efficienscy. This element is tupiucally driven by the goals of the business. The opportunity might be a totally new direction for the business or a minor upgrade to an existing project.

2. opportunity analysis:

Additional information is needed for translating opportunity identification into specific business and technology opportunities and making early and other uncertain technology and marlet assessment. Extensive effoert may be committed for focus groups, maeket studies and sceientificn expertise. However, the amount of effort expended is dependent upon the attractiveness of the opportunit.

3. idea genesis:

Genesis is the development and materation of the opportunity into a concrete idea. This represents an evolutionary process in which ideas are built upon, torn down, combined , reshaped, modified,and updated. Ideas may be generated by anyone with a passion for a particular idea,

problem, need, or situation. Ideas may be generated or enriched by others

through the efforts of a key individual or “champion” (Markham 1998; Markham

and Griffin 1998).

Idea selection:

In most businesses there a re so many products/process ideas that the critical activity is to choose which idea to pursue in order to achieve the most business value. Selection may be as simple as an individial’s choice amoung many self generated options or as formalized as a prescribed portfolio method. More formalized project selection and resource allocation in the FEI is difficult die to limited information and understanding at this point.

Concept and technology development:

The final element of the model involves the development of a business case based on estimates of market potential, customer needs, investment requirements, competitor assessments, technology unknowns, and overall project risk.

The environment:

The FFE exists in an environment of influencing factors. The factors are the

corporation’s organizational capabilities, customer and competitor influences,

the outside world’s influences, and the depth and strength of enabling sciences

and technologyThe outside world, government policy, environmental regulations, laws

concerning patents, and socioeconomic trends all affect the FFE as well as the

new product development or Stage-GateTM part of the innovation process. Some

of these factors are indicated in Porter’s “five force” model (1987).



The element of leadership, culture, and business strategy sets the environment

for successful innovation. Proficiency in this element distinguishes highly innovative

companies from less innovative ones (Koen et al. 2001). Continuous

senior management support for innovation has been shown in numerous studies

to be critical to new product development success (Cooper and Kleinschmidt

1995; Song and Parry 1996; Swink 2000). Culture in the FFE fundamentally differs from that in the NPD and operations

parts of the organization (Buckler 1997).


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